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FA´s vision puts pressure on Capello

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 May 2008


Fabio Capello has been told he is expected to take England to at least the semi-finals of the next World Cup or Euro 2012 as part of ambitious targets announced by the Football Association.

The English game's governing body ordered a review after the national team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and the results, published on Tuesday, put pressure on Capello to deliver.

Capello has only been in charge for two matches but the Italian will already be in no doubt over what is expected of him if he glances at the first of the 13 'major milestones' outlined in the report.

Top of the FA's to-do list is to see the “England's senior men and women's teams qualifying for major competitions and reaching the semi-finals at least, by 2012”.

The FA's Vision 2008-2012 reveals that the organisation will appoint an international performance director, but he will not be Capello's boss and will oversee all national teams below the England men's senior side.

Winning the bid for the 2018 World Cup is also a priority, as is having the National Football Centre (NFC) at Burton up and running within two years, and Wembley Stadium making a profit by 2012.

FA chairman Lord Triesman said: “This document sets out our goals for the next four years and how we intend to achieve them. The FA is prepared to speak and act for the greatest sport in the world. There is much to do, and we have the determination to do it.”

FA chief executive Brian Barwick added: “Football has a special place in English hearts, and opinions on it are easy to find.

“We have spent the last year asking football people what they want from their FA, and the messages have been loud and clear. English football is looking to The FA to do what is right for the whole of the game; to nurture and protect its future.

“There are some significant challenges but we are confident of tackling them.”

According to the FA's report, England is producing “insufficient high-quality players to represent the England national teams and insufficient quality coaches.”

The NFC at Burton will be the hub of player and coaching development, according to the FA.

The structure of the FA will be changed with an 'international performance group' made up of Triesman, Barwick, Capello, under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, the new performance director, and the chairman of the international committee.

Other milestones included a million 5-11 year olds trained through the FA/Tesco Skills Programme by 2010, 125,000 existing teams retained and 20,500 new teams created by 2012, 26,000 referees retained and an additional 8,000 referees recruited by 2012.


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